A major Royal Dutch Shell shareholder said Friday that it will vote no on the company’s pending merger with BG Group.

According to Reuters, Standard Life Investment said it will not approve the deal, citing concerns about risks tied BG’s assets in Brazil and weak crude price forecasts.

“We have concluded that the proposed terms of the acquisition of BG are value destructive for Shell shareholders,” head of equities at Standard Life Investments David Cumming told the news wire.

Standard Life holds 1.7 percent of Shell’s B shares, making it the eleventh largest holder of those shares.

A Shell spokesperson told Retuers the company believes it still has enough shareholder support to approve the merger.

News of the Standard Life’s vote came on the same day that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) endorsed the deal after it concluded the strategic benefits outweigh concerns about short term oil prices.

ISS advises about 5 percent of Shell’s medium and small shareholders, Retuers said.

Shell shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal on January 27.

Shell agreed in April to acquire UK-based BG Group for about $70 billion in cash and shares, when Brent crude prices were hovering around $62 per barrel.

Brent was trading at $33.11 per barrel before the opening bell on Monday.

BG shareholders will receive 383 pence in cash and 0.4454 Shell B shares per BG share, a 52 percent premium over the company’s closing price on April 7.

Shell plans to cut 2,800 jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan to be implemented after it completes its pending merger with BG Group.

Those reductions are in addition to the previously announced plans to reduce Shell’s headcount and contractor positions by 7,500 globally.

Shell said it expects the restructuring will be neccesary to achieve the combination’s expected benefits, including previously disclosed pre-tax synergies of $3.5 billion

Chinese antitrust regulators approved the combination in December, marking the end of the pre-conditional approval process.

The merger is expected to grow Shell’s proved oil and gas reserves by 25 percent and raise its production by 20 percent.


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